It was the most unlikeliest of victories to end what broadcaster Tommy Daniels described as, "The most difficult road trip in my broadcasting career." The Allen Americans defeated the Idaho Steelheads last night 3-2 in a shootout before a disappointed crowd of 3884 at the CenturyLink Arena. With the win Allen snapped a three game losing streak and finished the road trip 1-2.
- If you look at the box score you would have to say the Americans stole this game. They jumped off to a two goal lead in the first period on just four shots with goals by Chad Costello (11) and Chris Crane (4) but gave them both back in the second period. Allen mustered a paltry 12 shots on goal in regulation which is the lowest total all season in the ECHL. While getting only 12 shots in regulation Allen allowed Idaho 32 shots. The Americans took 15 penalties and gave Idaho nine power play opportunities including a couple of extended five on three power plays. Allen had just two power play opportunities and one of them was just 20 seconds long.
- The team deserves credit for hanging in despite the lopsided shots on goal and one-sided penalty calls as the game went into overtime and then was settled in a shootout. Even the shootout was strange but have not heard an explanation as to why the Americans were not declared the winner after the fourth round. Here is how the shootout went with Idaho choosing to shoot first:
Round One: Emil Molin (goal) Tristan King (no goal)
Round Two: Kyle Jean (no goal) Chad Costello (no goal)
Round Three: Carson McMillan (no goal) Jonathan Parker (goal)
With the teams tied 1-1 after three shooters my understanding of the new rule is at this point the shootout becomes sudden death after each round but here is what happened:
Round Four: Damian Cross (no goal) Gary Steffes (goal)
At this point Allen should have been the winner but for some reason the shootout continued:
Round Five: Jefferson Dahl (goal) J. P. LaFontaine (no goal)
Round Six: Rob Linsmayer (no goal) Eric Roy (goal)
I either don't understand the new shootout rules and if so my apologies to the referee or the referee wasn't aware of the new rules or lost track of which team went first in the shootout and if that is the case. C'MON MAN!
- Eric Roy had the winning goal in the sixth round of the shootout but
his line score for the game is all zeros. Seems like if you score the
game winning shootout goal you should be given credit for a goal and
game winning goal in the official statistics.
- The bus never made it to Boise so the team is flying home today which is a good thing given they have a home game tomorrow (Monday) night against Tulsa. Scheduling flights last minute at this time of year is a challenge so some players left very early this morning and some won't arrive back in Allen until ten o'clock tonight.
- As long as I am complaining about the official score keeping it was obvious on the first goal by Allen that Tristan King made the cross ice pass to Chad Costello who scored. Scoring should have been Costello from King and Gens instead of Costello from Gens and Steffes. It will get corrected.
- Here are the highlights from the game last night courtesy of the Idaho Steelheads, however the only shootout goal shown is Eric Roy's game winner. https://youtu.be/xnHHQcgj_bc
- I don't pretend to know all that transpired during this road trip regarding the decisions made by ownership as to all the of travel issues with the snow, ice and wind. What I do know is a big part of the success of the Allen Americans in the past has been it is a place players want to play and are treated well. Hockey players are a small fraternity and news travels fast when players feel they are not being treated well by ownership. It doesn't take long for news to travel around the hockey world if a team decides to make every decision based on lowest cost rather than what is fair and equitable. One can only hope ownership realizes how fragile the relationship between themselves and fans, players, sponsors, coaches, front office and the community is if they want to maintain the excellence this franchise is known for. There are just too many rumors floating around about how the players are being treated to be ignored.
- The juggernaut that is the Missouri Mavericks won again last night to improve their record to 21-3-0-1. The Mavericks are on pace to break the ECHL all time record for winning percentage in a seson which was set in 2001-02 by the Louisiana Ice Gators at .806. Missouri's win percentage is currently .860.
- The only teams in the Western Conference with more points than Allen (33) are Utah (34) and Missouri (43).
- After a slow start in the penalty department at the beginning of the season the Americans are now in familiar territory ranked #2 in the ECHL in penalty minutes per game at 19.37. They trail only Colorado who averages 21.32 penalty minutes per game. Incidentally, the least penalized team in the league is also the best team in the league. The Missouri Mavericks are averaging just 9.28 penalty minutes per game. For the season Allen has 523 penalty minutes compared to Missouri with 232.
- As a group the Central Division is holding its own against teams outside of the division. They are 11-4 against Midwest Division teams led by Missouri who is 8-0. Against the West Division the Central Division is 16-14-1-0 led by Allen who is 10-5-1-0.
DID YOU KNOW: In the odd stat category the Norfolk Admirals beat the Adirondack Thunder last night by a score of 2-1 in a game where there were no penalties called on either team. It was just the fifth time in ECHL history there has been a game with no penalties.